PLATTSBURGH, NY — This year marks the 50th anniversary of Schluter-Systems, a company that has led important innovations and new product developments for tile installations globally. It is not a stretch to say that Schluter products have fundamentally changed the way tiles are installed over the past five decades.
In 1966, a young Master Tile Setter named Werner Schlüter embarked on his first business venture — founding Schluter Tile. A few years later, Schlüter developed a product that would revolutionize not only his work as a tile setter, but the industry as a whole — the Schluter®-SCHIENE, a metal finishing profile designed to prevent tile edges from chipping. From these humble beginnings, the company has evolved to a global organization with seven subsidiaries and 1,100 employees.
With its home base still in Iserlohn, Germany, and its largest North American facility located in Plattsburgh, NY, Schluter-Systems continues to thrive as a family-run business that reaches many countries around the world. Schluter-Systems North America set up shop in Plattsburgh in 1989 with two employees and a 13,000-square-foot warehouse. Today, Schluter-Systems occupies nearly 600,000 square feet of warehouse and office space throughout North America, and employs over 500 people continent-wide.
“I could not have imagined such a development at that time. It all began with five types of products made of brass,” said Schlüter.
Over the next several decades, Schlüter led the company’s evolution from this first product to protect tile edges, to a portfolio of products designed to protect the integrity of tile installations from multiple angles — from underneath, at perimeters and transitions, and within large expanses. The Schluter line of products now consists of more than 10,000 different items.
Schlüter’s motto has always been, “By the installer, for the installer.” Now, 50 years later, these words continue to form the foundation of Schluter-Systems’ approach to all product development.